Tim Reed of Australia and Caroline Steffen of Switzerland defended their elite titles at the Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship in Cebu, the Philippines.
Reed overcame a 23 seconds deficit after the swim with a race-best bike split that brought him to 2nd place after the bike leg, then sped away to the win with a race-best run. Reedís finished in 3:51:46 with a 3:15 margin of victory over Craig Alexander and 5:29 ahead of 3rd-place finisher Sam Betten in an Australian sweep of the podium.
Steffen trailed Radka Vodickova of the Czech Republic by 1:02 after the swim, gained back 1:03 on the bike leg, and then ran away from her rival to finish with a 2:10 margin of victory over Vodickova and 5:34 over 3rd-place Sarah Crowley of Australia. The win was Steffen's 4th straight at this Philippines 70.3 event.
Sam Betten of Australia swam 23:58 that gave him a 1 second margin on Brent McMahon of Canada, 7 seconds on fellow Aussies Jake Montgomery and Eric Watson, 10 seconds on Brad Kahlefeldt, 12 seconds on Braden Currie of New Zealand, 16 seconds on Craig Alexander, and 23 seconds on Reed.
After a race-best 2:03:23 bike split, Reed trailed McMahon (5th-best 2:03:40 bike split) by 3 seconds and was a few seconds ahead of Antony Costes of France, Alexander, Betten and Montgomery.
After T2, the race was settled by a half marathon in increasing heat that had a noticeable effect on times. Halfway through the leg, Reed opened a 1:22 lead on Alexander, 3:59 on Betten, 4:08 on Costes and 7:06 on Currie. After a race-best 1:20:02 run, Reed broke the tape in 3:51:46 with a 3:15 margin on Alexander (3rd-fastest 1:23:10 run) and 5:29 over 3rd-place Betten (6th-quickest 1:25:21 run). Currie, who posted the 2nd-best 1:21:24 run, took 4th, 6:56 behind the winner.
The win adds to Reedís 2016 record which includes a win at Ironman Australia, 2nd at Vineman 70.3, 3rds at Panama and Oceanside 70.3s and a 4th at Vietnam 70.3.
Vodickova led the womenís swim in 25:51 which gave her a 53 seconds lead on Judith Corachan Vaquera of Spain, 1:02 on Steffen, 1:26 on Amelia Watkinson of New Zealand, 2:52 on Kim Kilgore of the U.S., 2:54 on Sarah Crowley of Australia and 3:37 on Dimity-Lee Duke of Australia.
Halfway through the bike leg, Steffen caught Vodickova and took a 2 seconds lead, with Corachan Vaquera (+1:48), Crowley (+3:31), Duke (+5:25) and Watkinson (+7:12) falling further back. After a womenís-best 2:19:04 bike split, Steffen led Vodickova by 4 seconds, Corachan Vaquera by 3:24, Crowley by 5:43 and Duke by 8:49.
After a womenís 2nd-fastest 1:26:04 run, Steffen finished in 4:16:19 with a 2:10 margin of victory over Vodickova (1:28:09 run) and 5:34 on 3rd-place Crowley (womenís-fastest 1:25:49 run).
Steffenís win at Cebu was her 2nd Ironman 70.3 win of the year after a victory at Vietnam in July. She also took 2nd places at Vineman 70.3, Oceanside 70.3 and Dubai 70.3. While her KPR points rate 19th and would gain her a Kona entry, she has not yet validated with a full Ironman finish.
Asia-Pacific Ironman 70.3 Championship
August 7, 2016
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
1. Tim Reed (AUS) 3:51:46
2. Craig Alexander (AUS) 3:55:01
3. Sam Betten (AUS) 3:57:15
4. Braden Currie (NZL) 3:58:42
5. Antony Costes (FRA) 4:00:08
6. Cameron Brown (NZL) 4:04:49
7. Brad Kahlefeldt (AUS) 4:06:12
8. Brent McMahon (CAN) 4:06:15
8. David Mainwaring (CAM) 4:07:10
10. Jonathan Ciavattella (ITA) 4:08:16
1. Caroline Steffen (SUI) 4:16:19
2. Radka Vodickova (CZE) 4:18:29
3. Sarah Crowley (AUS) 4:21:53
4. Judith Corachan Vaquera (ESP) 4:31:12
5. Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS) 4:33:30
6. Amelia Watkinson (NZL) 4:44:19
7. Amanda Wilson (AUS) 4:45:05
8. Monica Torres (PHL) 4:45:54
9. Kathryn Haesner (NZL) 4:46:47
10. Ling Er Choo (SGP) 4:49:29 * F25-29